KISSIMMEE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A 7-month-old boy died at a medical center after reportedly eating a laundry detergent pod.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the child’s mother said she had placed detergent pods inside a laundry basket on the bed where her son was sleeping at a battered-women’s shelter.  She stepped away and when she returned the infant had ingested one packet and was starting on a second one, Stacie Miller, a Kissimmee police spokeswoman told the paper.

“I didn’t realize how potent those things are,” Miller added.

The baby was alert and coughing when emergency responders arrived, according to a police incident report.  The empty detergent pod packet was removed  from the infant’s mouth the report stated.

He was rushed to Osceola Regional Medical Center where his condition worsened and he died August 9.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 5,000 children have been sickened by the detergent pods.  If authorities confirm the pod is what killed the infant, his death could be the first reported death in the nation linked to a detergent pod.

It will take medical examiners weeks before officials can confirm whether or not the laundry packet caused the infant’s death.

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